Tilt a spinning bicycle wheel while you’re sitting in a swivel chair and—surprise—you’ll start spinning in circles, too. You can also witness the same phenomenon here by hanging a spinning wheel from its axle.
Start one of these two pendulums swinging and soon you’ll see the other pendulum start swinging, too. Keep watching and you’ll see the two pendulums take turns, alternately swinging energetically and coming to a near standstill.
This 3-D sculpture is animated when spun under a strobe light. The bloom’s animation effect is achieved by progressive rotations of the golden ratio, phi (ϕ), the same ratio that nature employs to generate the spiral patterns we see in pinecones and sunflowers.
Artist Scott Weaver has spent over 40 years painstakingly constructing this replica of the city of San Francisco out of toothpicks. Ping-pong balls added here or there wind their way through the model, visiting various famous sites along the way.
Experiment with rotational motion (and collisions) here at one of our most addictive exhibits. Disks and balls moving on and across this spinning table swoop and veer hypnotically—and also reveal why storm systems often follow curved paths on weather maps.